Details of Disappearance
Jovanna's mother's then-boyfriend, Ronald Garrett, was watching Jovanna in her family's residence in the P. T. Barnum Housing Project in the 80 block of Taylor Drive in Bridgeport, Connecticut on June 5, 1981. Jovanna's mother told him to bring Jovanna to her maternal great-grandmother, Mary Moales, who also lived in the housing project.
Garrett later stated that an unidentified boy arrived at the home at 10:20 a.m. and told Garrett that Moales had sent him to retrieve the child. He described the boy as about 10 or 11 years old, African-American, with small braids in his hair. He stated he thought he recognized the boy as a neighborhood child, and permitted him to take Jovanna. She has never been seen again.
Garrett was arrested for felony risk of injury to a minor on June 9, four days after Jovanna's disappearance, for giving her to the boy. He was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison.
Jovanna's grandparents and great-grandparents occasionally baby-sat her, but Moales never sent any person to pick her up that day in 1981. There is no evidence that the boy Garrett described even existed. He has never changed his story, however and maintains he had nothing to do with the young girl's disappearance.
Foul play is suspected in Jovanna's disappearance. She lived with her mother and brother in 1981. Her case remains unsolved.